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Microsoft & Intel to Enhance Self-Driving With Mapbox Maps

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Reportedly, Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , Intel (INTC - Free Report) and Softbank’s ARM Holdings are independently collaborating with Mapbox Inc, a mapping startup.  With the tie-up Microsoft and Intel will be able to help drive the autonomous vehicle revolution forward.

Mapbox does not provide mapping app itself, it rather offers the underlying maps in Instacart grocery delivery app, Snap messaging app and Match Group Inc’s (MTCH - Free Report) Tinder’s Places, among others.

Mapbox has software which helps smart-phones and self-driving cars to detect lanes and road signs. In this regard, the mapping startup plans to integrate its software with Microsoft offering and with Intel’s Mobileye self-driving unit.

Let’s throw some light on how the tech stalwarts are likely to benefit from the partnership.

Microsoft Integration

Microsoft Azure IoT platform’s open sourced Azure IoT Edge Runtime will be integrated with Mapbox’s recently unveiled Vision SDK. Azure IoT Edge Runtime offers custom logic, communications, and management functionalities designed for edge devices.

When integrated with Vision SDK, the detected events will aid the software builders develop responsive application which will provide accelerated feedback to the driver.

This will ensure proper streaming of semantic event data directly into Azure Cognitive Services for detailed analysis on the back end. On a regular basis, this back-end event data will aid the developers to enhance algorithms accordingly.

Additionally, the road data on the back end will provide analytic solutions for insurance companies, smart cities, and more.

This will consequently enhance the driving experience.

Microsoft stock has gained 16.7% year to date, substantially outperforming the industry’s rally of 14.3%.

Intel Collaboration

Intel is focusing on strengthening foothold in the autonomous vehicles industry. This is evident from its efforts like the acquisition of Israel-based MobilEye, last year.

MobilEye’s RoadBook offers lane level maps for both semi and fully self-driving vehicles. RoadBook data is integrated with Mapbox’s HD Vector Tiles, to avail data-efficient distribution into autonomous vehicles.

Roadbook’s inbuilt processes bring the communication bandwidth down to almost 10KB/km on an average.

The embedded Mapbox software, in the vehicle, can load map data for almost 200 meters ahead. These features empower the driver with enriched experience.

Intel stock has gained 22.1% year to date, substantially outperforming the industry’s rally of 20.8%.

What the Investors Need to Know?

Both Microsoft and Intel are leaving no stone unturned to capitalize on the immense growth opportunity that the autonomous vehicle industry presents. Through partnerships and collaborations, companies are driving innovations to boost their initiatives.

Per BI intelligence, 10 million self-driving cars will hit the roads by 2020. Statista states that the market for fully autonomous vehicles will grow to almost $6 billion, while partially autonomous vehicles market will reach $36 billion by 2025. Boston Consulting Group anticipates the autonomous car market to be worth $42 billion by 2025 and $77 billion by 2035.

Consequently, the estimates provided by these firms make us optimistic on Microsoft’s and Intel’s prospects in the space.

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

Both Microsoft and Intel carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

One stock playing an important role to propel self-driving initiatives is NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1Rank stocks here.

Long-term EPS growth rate of NVIDIA is pegged at 10.25%.

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